Nicholas Alahverdian / "Arthur Knight" Interview
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Nicholas Alahverdian / "Arthur Knight" Interview refers to a Dateline interview with a man suspected of being Nicholas Alahverdian, an American fugitive wanted for a 2008 rape case in Utah. However, the suspect claims his name is Arthur Knight and he is a handicapped Irish orphan who has been falsely accused. In an April 2023 interview with Dateline's Andrea Canning, he claims he cannot walk or stand and wishes he could go back to living his peaceful life. However, many elements of the segment made commenters believe "Knight" was acting, leading to jokes and memes about his "performance" appearing online in the following days as the interview went viral.
On April 21st, 2023, Dateline released an episode about the search for Nicholas Alahverdian, aka Nicholas Rossi, an American fugitive wanted for a 2008 rape case in Utah who is now believed to have faked his death in 2020. In December 2021, a man suspected to be Alahverdian was arrested in a Glasgow hospital, though he maintained his name is Arthur Knight and he is an Irish orphan. Officials have been attempting to extradite him to the United States for trial in the months since. Authorities identified "Knight" as Alahverdian through matching fingerprints and tattoos. A judge ruled that "Knight" was Alahverdian in November 2022.
Who was this man? Well, law enforcement, international media, and Dateline have spent months trying to find out…
Watch tonight at 9/8c on an all-new 2-hour #Dateline. pic.twitter.com/KdgnUb1cga
— Dateline NBC (@DatelineNBC) April 22, 2023
The clip of "Knight's" interview went viral on Twitter in the days after it aired on April 21st, 2023. For example, on April 24th, Twitter user @Doug_Tilley tweeted the minute-long clip. It features "Knight" maintaining his identity, attempting to prove his disability by dramatically standing up and flailing back into his chair next to his wife, and telling Canning "That's a right low blow!" when she asked about the allegations he was Alahverdian/Rossi. The tweet gained over 4.3 million views, 3,900 retweets and 2,800 quote tweets in two days (shown below).
This entire story is so wild (https://t.co/6Dx49Xd7Kd) but this is the funniest god damn thing I've ever seen. pic.twitter.com/XbGepzJv4A
— Boner Vivant (@Doug_Tilley) April 24, 2023
As the clip of "Knight" went viral, many online found the clip humorous because they believed Knight was a character invented by Alahverdian to escape arrest and that his performance was unconvincing. Twitter user @willmenaker pointed out that the accent sounded fake and found "Knight's" attempt to stand hilarious, gaining over 550 retweets and 11,000 likes in two days (shown below, left). User @EmmaTolkin joked he was in "Britface" putting on a "little fancyboy act," gaining over 330 retweets and 8,100 likes in a similar timeframe (shown below, right).
The situation was then notably covered in a video by YouTuber Cr1TiKaL on April 24th, 2023, which gained over 2.1 million views in one day (shown below).
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